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IBRD to study Karnataka's development models

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Ms Deepa Narayan, World Bank's Senior Advisor in Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, addressing the press in Bangalore on Monday. — G.R.N.Somashekar

Bangalore , Feb. 2

DEVELOPMENT models from Karnataka have been identified by the World Bank in its `learning process' ahead of the Shanghai Poverty Conference, to be held later this year in China.

A Bank-led team is in Karnataka to learn from the successful models of development and India has nine case studies, apart from the field visit, she said. The team, with people from Japan, Indonesia, Peru, Ghana, Russia and Sri Lanka on it, is in Bangalore to examine the Karnataka Government's implementation of the Bhoomi project — where the computerisation of over 20 million land records and online transfer of land titles to over seven million rural farmers has empowered the poor, according to Ms Deepa Narayan, World Bank's Senior Advisor in Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, and coordinator of the Bank-led field visit.

"The story of growth in Karnataka is unique in its narrative of being led by private entrepreneurs from the IT sector said Ms Narayan, referring to the Bangalore Agenda Task Force — the public private partnership initiative to improve civic infrastructure and services. "It should be replicated in other metros such as New Delhi and Mumbai.'' The BATF focuses on concrete action that can be monitored regularly and is a powerful model, she said.

The Bank-led field visit, while reviewing the broad changes wrought by partnerships between government, industry leaders and civil society, will also focus on how IT can be used as a tool for `scaling up' empowerment of the poor by increasing both access and transparency of information, Ms Narayan said.

Participants will assess the Bhoomi programme as well as learn about the `Swashakti' programme of the Karnataka Government and the implementation of e-choupal in Karnataka.

Poverty-reduction programmes may have different factors, structures, aims and methods — however, they all have four factors in common said Ms Narayan, and the World Bank had identified them as access to information, mechanisms for inclusion and participation, accountability and local organisational capacity, she said.

The Bank-led team includes Ms Frannie Leauties, Vice-President of the World Bank Institute, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Ghana's Minister of Communications and Mr Maxim Timofeev, Deputy Dept Head for the Russian Ministry of Communications and Information.

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